England have nothing to fear from Friday’s draw for the World Cup group stage, according to former boss Roy Hodgson.
Gareth Southgate’s side, who finished eight points clear at the top of Group F in Europe’s qualifying section, are in pot two for the ceremony in Moscow.
They could be paired with any of Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Portugal or Belgium in their group in Russia, with the world’s top-ranked teams – along with the host nation – in pot one.
Pot three also features some tough sides, including Iceland, who knocked Hodgson’s England out of Euro 2016 to spell the end of his tenure.
However, the Crystal Palace manager believes the team is progressing well under Southgate and should not be concerned about the prospect of a so-called ‘group of death’.
One year on from his appointment as manager, Gareth Southgate is 24 hours from discovering our @FIFAWorldCup opponents.
— England (@England) November 30, 2017
“I don’t think Southgate or England will be bothered about that, they will have confidence about how the team is improving,” he said on Thursday.
“They do not need to fear any of those scenarios or ideal groups. I would summarise my feelings that I am confident that, no matter what group England find themselves in, it really won’t matter.
“What will matter is that the players Southgate picks will be good enough to win against [any] of them and I don’t think England will fear anyone.
“I don’t think it matters what draw England get what matters is they will go there with a good team that I believe is capable of doing extremely well.
“It certainly doesn’t go on FIFA rankings as there are a lot from the top 10 I would rather meet than 25 down.”
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